Our wrapup of news and tart takes on HIMSS 16 (updated redux)

Lions Lie Down With Lambs, and Other Miracles!

HIMSS 16’s main ‘breaking news’ centered on HIT interoperability. The lead was US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Sylvia Burwell’s announcement on how Lions Will Lie Down With Lambs, Or Else. 17 EHRs that cover 90 percent of electronic health records used by U.S. hospitals–including the bitterest of rivals, Epic (the EHR everyone likes to hate) and Cerner, 16 providers including the nation’s five largest private healthcare systems, and more than a dozen leading professional associations and stakeholder groups (including HIMSS) pledged to implement three core commitments that allegedly will improve the flow of health information to consumers and healthcare providers. They are consumer access, no information blocking and standards. When? Where? How? Strictly TBD. HHS release, MedCityNews, Modern Healthcare, which dubbed it ‘another year, another promise’.

Innovate or Die. For companies and providers, it’s not about compliance anymore but about improving patient outcomes due to value-based care and incentives. Providers will increasingly be responsible for patient care throughout the community to make their numbers. Having made this sound point, Dr John Halamka then proposes they will need a ‘care traffic control’ system through data aggregation, with a laundry list of ‘enablers’, directories and connectors surrounding the EHR. How this all will work together, and who will buy in already challenged practices and ACOs, plus how those 17 notoriously territorial EHRs will work with said ‘enablers’ — or complicators — is a mystery to this Editor. Pass the Advil, please. MedCityNews

Read on for more Top 10s, roundups, DOD and VA EHR news, the Super Bowl-winning quarterback tackles the closing keynote, and 10 ways you can become a HIMSS speaker!

Accenture Federal Services announced a two-year consulting contract with the ONC to help the federal government create a framework for collecting and using patient generated health data in both research and clinical care. This is consumer data gathered outside the healthcare setting, e.g. fitness trackers. Mobihealthnews

MedCityNews also has a Top Ten list of their stories here. Healthcare IT News rounded up the five days in Destination HIMSS16. Having warmed up via their work with Philips [TTA 2 July 14 and 18 Sep 15], Salesforce‘s bolt-on to EHRs, Health Cloud analytic software, was formally announced.

Eric Wicklund in mHealth Intelligence attributes the lack of blockbuster news coming out of HIMSS to ‘an industry coming to grips with its future’ and maturity, though this Editor is not quite sure about the latter. The article touches on multiple companies and developments.

For those following the Continuing Soap Opera of the DOD-VA EHRs, at HIMSS the new helmer of the Cerner-Leidos ship for DOD will be a retired US Navy rear admiral. William Roberts, MD, is the Military Health System electronic health record functional champion at the Defense Health Agency. The size of it? 9.5 million covered beneficiaries, 1 million inpatient admissions, 95 million outpatient encounters and $4.3 billion  for the project–and that will be just for starters. Personnel from the Army, Air Force and Navy (which also in the US covers the Marines) are involved. Healthcare IT News

(Meanwhile, over at VA, there’s a $40 million about-face on modernizing VistA. This Editor can’t recall a time where a Federal agency has requested less money for a FY (2017). Is this a Miracle or merely sleight of hand? See HIStalk below for the surprising details.)

Peyton Manning, the football quarterback who helmed the Super Bowl-winning Denver Broncos and five-time NFL MVP, gave the closing keynote about leadership, communication and hard work, with a bow to healthcare at the end when he was joined by Robert Heyer, MD, team physician for the opposing Carolina Panthers who discussed the NFL’s EHR and sideline medical diagnostics. Hmmmm! No, he didn’t announce his retirement here. Healthcare IT News

Reports also note that attendance was down about 3 percent but was well over 41,000.

Now for the amusing mixed in with the serious:

Healthcare Dive presents the HIMSSzies, which touch on much of the above and add the ONC/CMS initiative to bring interoperable technology to a wide group of healthcare providers, including long-term care, behavioral health providers, mental health providers and substance abuse treatment centers. Lots of people got lost in the Sands, fountains at NextGen’s booth, and pink socks+digital camo at SWA.

Scroll down HIStalk Monday, after a brief on VA postponing $40 million of modernization funding for their VistA EHR after a business case analysis. There were unhealthy eats at HIMSS (did you expect kale?), iTriage (Aetna) layoffs, a slam on Michael Dell’s keynote and (drum roll) 10 Ways to Become a Highly Paid, Well-Received HIMSS Speaker. 

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